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Job description for your tech's?

Specializes in floor to ICU.

I recently sent my nurse manager a note regarding our tech's. I work on a 38 bed floor. We have the usual medical, surgical, nursing home patients. Many times we will have 3 tech's yet the nurses are filling water pitchers and having to empty foley's. They pretty much do vital signs and some baths. I'm not tech-bashing here. We have 2 tech's that are wonderful- they answer the call lights and anticipate the patient's needs. We work well together. I feel like I could take 8 patients myself with these tech's. Usually the nurses have 5-6 patients (frequent turnovers). The tech's are supposed to write the I&O's on a scratch paper in the pt.rooms and the nurse transfers the numbers to the actual graphic sheet in the chart. Often this isn't done, so it is the nurse who has to check with all the patient's at the end of the shift in order to get an accurate count. I think the tech's should write the PO total and out put total in the actual chart and leave the IV section blank for the nurses. For post-op patient's- I think the tech's should get the room ready, ie, frequent VS sheet, open the bed and move it to allow for the stretcher. We have a couple of new tech's who say they used to d/c saline locks and empty JP's, etc... The nurses also do their own accu check's. Our educator told me that she was doing an inservice with our tech's and was surprised at how many times they said, "We don't do that". Customer service is a big issue at our hospital. I feel the nurses could do so much more (like teaching) if the tech's would step up a little.

Am I being unreasonable? What goes on at your hosptial?

I recently sent my nurse manager a note regarding our tech's. I work on a 38 bed floor. We have the usual medical, surgical, nursing home patients. Many times we will have 3 tech's yet the nurses are filling water pitchers and having to empty foley's. They pretty much do vital signs and some baths. I'm not tech-bashing here. We have 2 tech's that are wonderful- they answer the call lights and anticipate the patient's needs. We work well together. I feel like I could take 8 patients myself with these tech's. Usually the nurses have 5-6 patients (frequent turnovers). The tech's are supposed to write the I&O's on a scratch paper in the pt.rooms and the nurse transfers the numbers to the actual graphic sheet in the chart. Often this isn't done, so it is the nurse who has to check with all the patient's at the end of the shift in order to get an accurate count. I think the tech's should write the PO total and out put total in the actual chart and leave the IV section blank for the nurses. For post-op patient's- I think the tech's should get the room ready, ie, frequent VS sheet, open the bed and move it to allow for the stretcher. We have a couple of new tech's who say they used to d/c saline locks and empty JP's, etc... The nurses also do their own accu check's. Our educator told me that she was doing an inservice with our tech's and was surprised at how many times they said, "We don't do that". Customer service is a big issue at our hospital. I feel the nurses could do so much more (like teaching) if the tech's would step up a little.

Am I being unreasonable? What goes on at your hosptial?

Wow. That's all I can say. I work as an aide on a med/surg floor with 29 beds. To me, we are responsible for I & O's, VS, preparing a room for a pt., do water pitchers, etc. I d/c IV's and A/C, empty NG's and JP's, etc. I work 7a-7p and we get weights and accuchecks while nurses are getting report. We are not responsible for 0800 vitals as the nurses do it when they assess the pt, but if they are super busy I'll do it. I'll also do accuchecks when asked throughout the day. The hard thing about being an aide is that we don't know the pt. schedule when it comes to accuchecks, meds, etc. so it's hard to anticipate sometimes what the nurse wants. I wish we got a chance to sit on the nurse's report -- that would really help. I don't even know if the doc wants the pt. OOB until a nurse tells me. We have computers but we are technically not allowed to look at doc's orders -- doesn't mean I don't.

I do not think you are being unreasonable. If all they do is baths and VS, what do they do in their spare time? Do you ask them to do stuff and what kind of response do you get? Not that you should have to ask to do what they should be doing, I'm just curious on the response.

"We don't do that" can sometimes (not always) mean they just "don't want to."

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

Specializes in floor to ICU.

 If all they do is baths and VS, what do they do in their spare time?  

Exactly, they often have "down time" at the end of their shift while the nurses are still running around

RN-PA, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

I don't know how you're getting any of your own work done since you're doing much of what our PCT's are doing on my med-surg unit. I have 5-6 patients and the two PCTs have 12, sometimes 14 patients apiece if we're full. They start our 3-11 shift getting vital signs, and then pass out fresh water if they can. The nurses give them report on their assigned patients as soon as we can after we receive our report. (PCT's are also supposed to get report from the previous shift's PCT, and we compare notes and update each other in our nurse to PCT report.) They get Accuchecks, q1h post-op VS when we have them, answer callbells, help Pts onto bedpans or bedside commodes, do P.M. care, incontinence care, feed patients, empty NG tubes, foleys, JP's etc. and chart their own I&O's (including the Pt's IV intake we've written on a form) in the computer along with any other documentation specific to PCT's.

PCT's are also supposed to ready rooms for new patients (admissions and post-ops) including gathering hygiene supplies, weighing the pt. when they arrive, completing a belongings list, and getting vital signs.

The nurses also do all of the above if a PCT isn't available-- we try to work as a team. I just get mad when I'm running to get fresh water or clean a room when a PCT is frequently sitting at the desk chatting or on the phone. Doesn't happen too much though since one of us will ask for help, even if that PCT has a different team.

I have been a "tech" for 7 mos. while I finish my BSN this May and I can tell you that our hospital trained us as to what we are supposed to do on our floor - That is - VS, baths, changed beds, change inc., d/c medlocks, bed to chair transfers,blood draws, anything that a nurse does not do basically. Often times we are viewed as "servants" for nurses who have not had experience as teching. Your response to this "what techs do" needs to be addressed to the experienced nurses who are orienting these new hires. Your hospital should have a checklist as to what the nurses do and what the techs do. However there are some gray areas to be conquered. Some people are just not cooperative but if you don't show appreciation for their help and verbalize that then you will always have resistance with the techs. Be careful of how you ask for help, some people resent a bossy nurse who forgets pleases and thankyous which goes a long way when you are delegating. And also don't use "I'm a nurse, that the tech's job and vice versa for techs" because we all have to pick up where someone just can't get to handle a situation. And as a nurse you need to chip in and help when a tech can't possibly be there because she is helping someone else.(you do know how to give a bath, empty a foley, change a pt, etc)(There was a time when nurses did all that at one time anyway)Tech's often have 8-10 pts and many are total assists. Sometimes cooperation from the nurse goes a long way and tech's see that they are not afraid to go beyong their own job description. Don't limit yourself in your own job description, no one is going to look down upon you if you help a tech out and in most institutions you are expected to assist (more of an unwritten rule)

As an extern, I already have made the choice that I will assist my techs as much as I can. In helping instead of going by a job description which varies anyway, gains you respect and allows a tech to help you more in the future. Tech's help the nurses and nurses help the techs. Works both ways.

HB May '06 BSN

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

Specializes in floor to ICU.

I have been a "tech" for 7 mos. while I finish my BSN this May and I can tell you that our hospital trained us as to what we are supposed to do on our floor - That is - VS, baths, changed beds, change inc., d/c medlocks, bed to chair transfers,blood draws, anything that a nurse does not do basically. Often times we are viewed as "servants" for nurses who have not had experience as teching. Your response to this "what techs do" needs to be addressed to the experienced nurses who are orienting these new hires. Your hospital should have a checklist as to what the nurses do and what the techs do. However there are some gray areas to be conquered. Some people are just not cooperative but if you don't show appreciation for their help and verbalize that then you will always have resistance with the techs. Be careful of how you ask for help, some people resent a bossy nurse who forgets pleases and thankyous which goes a long way when you are delegating. And also don't use "I'm a nurse, that the tech's job and vice versa for techs" because we all have to pick up where someone just can't get to handle a situation. And as a nurse you need to chip in and help when a tech can't possibly be there because she is helping someone else.(you do know how to give a bath, empty a foley, change a pt, etc)(There was a time when nurses did all that at one time anyway)Tech's often have 8-10 pts and many are total assists. Sometimes cooperation from the nurse goes a long way and tech's see that they are not afraid to go beyong their own job description. Don't limit yourself in your own job description, no one is going to look down upon you if you help a tech out and in most institutions you are expected to assist (more of an unwritten rule)

As an extern, I already have made the choice that I will assist my techs as much as I can. In helping instead of going by a job description which varies anyway, gains you respect and allows a tech to help you more in the future. Tech's help the nurses and nurses help the techs. Works both ways.

HB May '06 BSN

I realize this is a well-debated subject. I just really want to know the job duties of the tech's at other facilities.

With that being said, I do help- a lot. I work very hard to assure that my patient's are well taken care of. I am not the kind of nurse who feels she is above changing linens or feeding my patient. When I asked for help, I am not bossy. At our hospital, I want to work with the tech's to get the a.m care done and get the patient's OOB to the chair. I just think there is more that they can do- escpecially at the end of the shift (which is why I was asking about charting the I&O's)

I think sometimes the tech's assume we are not busy because we are not physically doing something. In reality, many times we are calling MD's or needing to speak with the charge nurse, reveiwing a MAR, an abnormal lab value or working on a discharge.

Thanks

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

We have a couple of new tech's who say they used to d/c saline locks and empty JP's, etc.

Alright, i'll be the oddball here. There is no way, as a tech, that i would have d/c'd a saline loc or empty a JP. Why? Well, as a tech i would have thought that was out of my scope. But as a nurse, i would want to see the pt.'s skin condition around the loc, and chancces are i'd put a small dressing over the spot it came out of. While emptying the JP, i'd want to know the color and consistancy (along with amt.) of the fluid coming out. Sounds like a couple of things i'd want details on for charting.

And i say that as once being a night shift tech assigned to 35 (thirty-five) pts., n-p ratio 1 nurse for 5-6 pts.

I realize this is a well-debated subject. I just really want to know the job duties of the tech's at other facilities.

With that being said, I do help- a lot. I work very hard to assure that my patient's are well taken care of. I am not the kind of nurse who feels she is above changing linens or feeding my patient. When I asked for help, I am not bossy. At our hospital, I want to work with the tech's to get the a.m care done and get the patient's OOB to the chair. I just think there is more that they can do- escpecially at the end of the shift (which is why I was asking about charting the I&O's)

I think sometimes the tech's assume we are not busy because we are not physically doing something. In reality, many times we are calling MD's or needing to speak with the charge nurse, reveiwing a MAR, an abnormal lab value or working on a discharge.

Thanks

I would be careful not to mind read any of your techs (i.e - the tech's assume....) I know from my end the nurses are busy whether it is physical or mental work. Most tech positions require physical requirements and time management skills. Perhaps you can research tech positions by calling different HR dept's of different hospital's? I'm not sure how this information could be used to help your situation. FYI-my post was speaking of my experience as a tech not to relate to your situation as a nurse. Just my own experience...........................HB

My official title is "burn tech", but I'm also referred to quite often as a CA/Clinical Assistant. (Our hospital's version of PCTs.) I work as a tech in the burn unit of a pediatric hospital. My duties are varied, as our unit is small and I'm the only burn tech for our unit, period. I mainly do v/s, pass out meal trays, make beds, run errands (to the blood bank, lab, etc.) and stock supplies. We have six rooms for inpatients and we also see kids on an outpatient basis daily in the burn unit and then we have an official "burn clinic" in the surgery clinic on Wednesdays. I do simple to moderately difficult dressing changes on our outpatients, along with "soft wound debridement" (usually gauze and tap water used in a wiping motion to rid the wound of old cream/ointment and eschar). Sometimes, I'll assist with inpatient dressing changes, but generally the RNs do that. All of this is done under direct supervision of an RN. i.e. The outpatient is placed in the outpatient room. I go in and greet them, undress the wound and clean it. I then get an RN to come in and assess it and then we decide if it needs to be redressed in the same manner or changed over to a different dressing. I do some patient/parent education regarding wound care/dressing changes/scar massage/aftercare.

I do not do labs, d/c saline locks, insert or d/c foleys, I/Os or anything of that nature as Alabama's board of nursing does not allow a tech to mess with IV's at all, nor do they allow labs or foleys to be done on pedi patients by the tech. Our nurses take care of the I/Os because of how strictly they keep up with them.

Usual staffing if our six rooms are full is a Unit Clerk, Burn Tech (Me), and 3-4 RNs. However, we might have as high as 5-6 RNs if we have high acuity patients (vents or critically ill kids on a monitor.). We are classified as a critical care unit. Our unit also serves as the regional pediatric burn unit in the southeast, so we usually have out-of-state patients.

Pardon my rambling. My point is, we each have our own jobs to do, but if we don't work together as a cohesive team, then our patient's care tends to suffer.

've never been told, nor have I told anyone "that's not my job".

 If all they do is baths and VS, what do they do in their spare time? 

Exactly, they often have "down time" at the end of their shift while the nurses are still running around

A NM needs to speak with them and tell them to get off their butts.

I used to be a PCA/PCT before I bacame an RN. So to all those nurses out there who think they are better because the have a college degree, GET OVER IT! There were many nurses who made my job easier when I was a PCA, they helped me with whatever I had to do. When a call light went off that I could not answer, they were there for me. They made me feel as though the job I did, meaningless as it was, made a difference to them. Whatever they asked me to do I did for them, no questions asked! And there were nurses who aked the world of us, and not even say "thank you" at the end of the shift. One year, the staff nurses decided to take out the techs for a night of fun and drinks, we all really had a great time!

What I learned was that we, as the RN's have to take the initiative to have a "good working relationship" with our techs. Think about it, we make upwards of $25/hr and they make about $11/hr. Would that want to make you work as hard as the RN's do? When I was a tech I felt appreciated by the RN's, and not made to feel that I was a subordinate.

MedSurgeMess

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I'd love to be able to post about job descriptions, but unfortunately some dumba$$ at our facitily-DON to be exact-thinks that aides are unnecessary and that RNs and LPNs can do it all. Even worse, we were really understaffed before they quit hiring CNAs, and are even worse off now, so the few CNAs that are left are all the more valuable. Luckily, except for 1 or 2, our CNAs are excellent with the patient needs and care. Now if we could just get rid of Admins, and let the real world intervene, most of us could get the job done! I think basic level comfort and V/S, I&Os, feeds, basic care and hygiene should be the top priority of the job description

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

Specializes in floor to ICU.

This weekend we worked with ONE tech for 40 patient's. Each nurse had 6 patient's a piece (not counting turnovers). :uhoh3:

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

This weekend we worked with ONE tech for 40 patient's. Each nurse had 6 patient's a piece (not counting turnovers). :uhoh3:

Sounds like my typical shifts as the tech before i graduated nursing school.

Be careful of how you ask for help

The really good techs don't cop an attitude when you ask for help. This Political Correctness is a crock.

The good techs are usually busy, on the floor. They are there doing their jobs, which is patient care. When you ask them for help they are all about the patient. They are much appreciated and I tell them how amazing they are and what a blessing.

The "other" techs are insulted when you ask for assistance (things they are there for.)

I'm sorry but something is fundamentally wrong if you have to give yourself a crash course in "how-to-approach-a-tech" before even saying "hey can you help me turn Mrs. Doe in 206?"

You don't get this attitude from the really excellent techs.

And as a nurse you need to chip in and help when a tech can't possibly be there because she is helping someone else

Chip in a help? Most of the RNs on the floor are doing the tech's work all shift long, at least where I work.....luckily for me I worked a different unit a week or so ago and it was a joy. Thank goodness all techs aren't like the ones on my unit.

These techs were amazing. They were professional and totally focused on patient care. Really makes a difference to have great techs.

They took care of the patients.

When I needed something I didn't have to check myself before I approached them, I didn't have to "make sure I approached them in the right way" because there wasn't any of the attitude I usually deal with, when I needed help turning a patient I simply asked them if they could help turn them and that was that.

I've had techs on my floor refuse to help pull a patient up in the bed.

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

Specializes in floor to ICU.

Think about it, we make upwards of $25/hr and they make about $11/hr. Would that want to make you work as hard as the RN's do?

I see your point, however, this is the position they applied for. Should I work less than the RN's on the floor because I am an LVN and make less money than they do?

Annabelle57

Specializes in Burn/Trauma PCU.

i work as a tech on a med/surg floor - off the top of my head, here's what we do: getting & charting vitals, recording i&os (including graphing them before shift's end), daily weights, accuchecks, am/pm care (including shaving beards and teeth brushing), changing bedpans & assisting patient to get on/off one, emptying bedside commodes, inserting/dcing/emptying foleys & -stomy bags, hanging saline, changing diapers/chuks, dcing ivs, drawing blood, transporting patients, feeding if needed, refilling water, changing bed linens/gowns, cleaning up any messes (unless > 1/2 gallon of chemical whatever), straightening stock room, answering call lights and nurse station phones, taking inventory of patients' belongings on admission, assisting patient with leaving floor/getting into vehicle at discharge, and assisting the rn with whatever they ask for help with!

mine is a good floor - all our techs work hard, as do our rns, and most of the time, our jobs are appreciated. the general motto on the floor is that it's crappy for anyone to say "that's not my job" or "that's not my patient". obviously i can't go doing something i'm not licensed to do... but i mean that everyone answers the phones/call lights, and we all help out with each others' patients, whether we are "assigned" to them or not. a unit without teamwork is just plain toxic!

A NM needs to speak with them and tell them to get off their butts.

I agree they do not pay them for just sitting around.

I would get a copy of the patient care tech job description from your human resource office, review it, and then prepare an inservice for all the PCTs detailing exactly what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it. It will be hard for them to argue with what is in black and white on their job description.

transducen, BSN, RN

Specializes in TELE, ICU. Has 5 years experience.

No Wonder R.n.'s Are Overworked, Seems Like Many Are Not Sure What Their Job Description Is, So The R.n.'s Pick Up The Slack. How Sad.

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